$200k 386kW V8-Powered Land Rover Defender coming to Australia

Land Rover Defender V8

Spied yonks ago and only moments after it said it was rolling out a bunch of electric vehicles, Land Rover’s revealed its stonking V8 Defender.

It was only a matter of time before the V8 Defender spied last year made it to production. And here it is. Boasting a 5.0-litre supercharged V8 making 386kW and 625Nm, the new V8-powered Defender is the most expensive one in the lineup, listing from $20,000+ plus on-road costs depending on whether you choose the 90 or 110 variant. Wowsers.

Able to rocket to 100km/h in 5.2 seconds, the V8 Defender runs unique suspension and transmission tuning to cope with all that extra oomph and ensure the Defender’s excellent on-road ride and handling doesn’t fall apart. Thanks to a new electronic active rear differential, Land Rover says the V8 Defender offers more agile and engaging handling “with heightened body control”…hmmm, not sure how many people are going to want to start hard-charging their Defender, but…it all sounds very tasty.

And Land Rover reckons a new V8-specific dynamic tune for the Terrain Response system and thicker, solid anti-roll bars allows drivers to get jiggier with it on the road and loose dirt. 

Iain Gray, Senior Manager, Powertrain Advanced Engineering, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The 5.0-litre V8 supercharged engine further enhances the unique character of the Defender. It sounds fantastic and delivers incredible performance – providing new levels of driver appeal. Our engineering focus has been to optimise powertrain calibration for Defender to deliver both responsive on-road performance and fine control off-road – all without compromising Defender’s unstoppable all-terrain capability and wading ability.”

The question, internet, is: has Land Rover lost its way with the new Defender?

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Isaac Bober has been writing about cars and 4x4s for more than 20 years, has worked on some of the country's biggest motoring magazines (remember what they were?), and launched Practical Motoring. Now he's back, back again... to share dad jokes and much more.